GRAVENHURST — Firefighters were out roaming several Gravenhurst neighbourhoods last night, but it wasn’t pre-Halloween trick or treating that they were up to.
Firefighters were going door-to-door Oct. 9 as part of their annual Fire Prevention Week activities, promoting fire safety and in particular the value of smoke alarms and home fire escape planning.
“Our firefighters managed to visit about 125 residences, checking for working smoke alarms and sharing other important fire safety information,” said Breyan Sinnott, fire prevention officer “The community’s response was fantastic, even though we did find several outdated smoke and CO alarms.”
Firefighters replaced smoke alarms, batteries and in some cases provided additional alarms to homes that needed them, according to Sinnott.
“We’ve been fortunate enough in Gravenhurst to have had smoke alarms donated to us for a very long time by several organizations and individual benefactors. We in turn pass these on free of charge to those in need.”
In the past couple of years, Gravenhurst Home Hardware has partnered with an organization called ‘Nolan’s Story’ to provide the Department with free carbon monoxide alarms, which are also made available to the community.
Sinnott noted that the fire department has worked with the food bank and ‘Free Stuff 4 Daily Needs’ to get these life savers into Gravenhurst homes.
Sinnott said that both smoke and CO alarms don’t last forever and need replacing periodically.
“The simple act of changing batteries twice a year can be something easily overlooked. This can have disastrous consequences if not performed.”
Firefighters across North America have also been promoting the need for home escape planning as part of this year’s fire prevention messaging.
“Knowing primary and secondary exits is important at work, home or out shopping in the community. Regardless of where you are, please take the time to look for alternate exits,” said Sinnott.
“At home, it only takes a few minutes to sit down with your family and talk about what to do when an alarm sounds.”
Firefighters also visited all Gravenhurst schools on Tuesday to conduct surprise fire drills, she said.
“The kids know the importance of fire drills at school, do they at home too?”